Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James have witnessed each other’s Hall of Fame careers through the lens of a two-decade friendship, despite having never played together. On the Los Angeles Lakers this season — with both players in their age-37 season — they finally get to get a closer view at what has made them so great over their careers.
James showed exactly what he’s still capable of on Saturday night against the Golden State Warriors, scoring 56 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in a winning effort. Anthony played 25 minutes of his own and got to see one of James’ best scoring performances of his career.
Following the game, Anthony spoke about James and what his performance provided for the Lakers. “His scoring, he was phenomenal tonight,” Anthony said of James. “The way that it came, the rhythm of the game, the flow of the game, us making that comeback and him being a big reason for us coming back, making that run that we did. It didn’t have to end. He just put us on his back tonight. He was phenomenal. What else can we say about him.”
Anthony also gave James credit for his scoring prowess despite not being viewed as a scorer throughout his career.
“He can’t get everything, man [laughs]. No, I know the feeling, I can only imagine someone who can be the all-time leading scorer in NBA history who doesn’t get the credit of being a scorer. But it is what it is, man. They got to talk about something. We all know he can score the ball. I think the difference is that some people aren’t just pure scorers. Some people just have a knack for scoring and know how to score and it just comes to them, skillsets and things of that nature.
“And then you have players like LeBron who knows how to put the ball in the hole, who knows how to score the basketball, and it’s totally different type of players, different dynamics. But to say that he’t not a scorer when he’s got 30,000 points, whoever asked that questions needs to just stop asking.”
James has spent some time in recent weeks discussing the lack of credit he’s received for his scoring ability. Similarly to the way Giannis Antetokounmpo has had to defend his scoring prowess despite two MVP awards, James has been doing that for 19 seasons.
Anthony gave James his rightful credit following Saturday’s performance, another in a long line of elite outings from perhaps the greatest player to ever play the game.
Given the way James and Anthony came into the league together, formed a friendship, and finally got to team up after 19 years, it was only fitting that the game ended with James assisting Anthony on a game-sealing 3-pointer.
James credits rest and self-care for longevity
James playing at this level at age 37 — in his 19th season — is unprecedented. He spoke about how he’s been able to maintain this level of success with all the mileage on his body.
“The No. 1 thing is sleep, rest,” James said. “Obviously I’ll be able to sleep better tonight then I’ve done over the last few games. That’s just human nature, you have your mind racing and racing and racing on what can you do to help the team get a win, figuring out ways you can be better.
“But I get optimal sleep and in between days I try to get a nap in as well, a couple hours, but also just always in the treatment room, in the cold tubs icing down, stretching, eating right, putting the right food in my body, the right fuel to be able to play a game less than 48 hours later.”
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